Why learning leadership skills is so important for everyone in an employee-owned business, not just managers

Guest blog by Coralie Hooper, consultant at employee-owned Telos Partners who is also the course co-director on the EOA’s Empowering Leadership course

I often get asked, ‘how do you help employees act like co-owners?’

I think a lot of the challenge is that employees don’t really know what it means – they don’t know what it is to have their own business.

Being part of an employee-owned business is about much more than just about the profit share, it’s understanding that it’s ‘my business now’ and that there’s accountability and responsibility that comes with that.

The EOA’s Empowering Leadership course, which I co-direct with Garry Davis at J Gadd Associates, helps employee owners at any level understand how they can maximise their impact in the business. The programme is run virtually over a series of five modules that take a slightly different slant on some of the core leadership skills needed in an EO business.

We always stress that it’s not just about leaders in terms of the seniority of their title, it’s around being a leader within a business; anybody can be a leader. This is particularly the case in an employee-owned business, as everybody has a duty and a responsibility to themselves and each other to lead.

So, that means starting by increasing understanding of how you can get the best from yourself and others.

Creating a growth mindset

What we find with businesses that are employee owned, or on the journey to transition to employee ownership, is that individuals are suddenly thrust into a position of leadership without any sort of help or education around what it is they need to do.

With every employee organisation, there is something around the culture needing to be one of a growth mindset, and really understanding and appreciating how to grow and be the best version of yourself, both in terms of the individual and the business.

Therefore, we centre this course on the idea of a growth mindset, and this work always starts with the individual and giving them confidence about knowing who they are and where their strengths are.

Benefits of the course

We ensure delegates on the course gain confidence and capability in core leadership skills, and gather insight into how to unlock the potential of employee ownership to create high-performing teams.

One of the big selling points is the opportunity to meet people from different businesses; this network of people that are in the same or similar position to you, but maybe at different points of their employee ownership journey.

The ability to be able to share insights and talk with others that understand where you’re coming from has been invaluable for past delegates. We give people time to reflect and share their experiences on what they’ve done since the last time we met, what’s worked or hasn’t worked, and that’s how confidence is built because they start to see what happens when they try something different.

Find out more about the course or future dates by clicking here.

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Coralie Hooper appeared in Episode 12 of the EOA Podcast, which is on the theme of empowering employees to act like owners, listen here >>

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